Overview

Video game magazines used to be the hub of video game discourse, with the latest news, editorials on the state of the industry, and, of course, reviews. While the internet eventually buried most of these magazines I still find it fascinating to look through them to see what was a big deal at the time and how others viewed particular games.

I wanted to make these magazines more accessible, while learning more about my favorite genre: the JRPG. So I have collected as many JRPGs reviews from magazines as I could and presented them here. I hope you find them as interesting as I do, and maybe find some new games you would like to play. If you’re here you’d probably also be interested in my JRPG project, where I use a mountain of data to attempt to find the best system for JRPGs based on review scores, price, exclusivity, and more.

Almost all scans are from RetroMags, an invaluable resource for video game history. A minority are from Internet Archive. I update this archive periodically, see the section below. As for the games, I am using JRPG Chronicle’s JRPG Index, which is maintained by Lucca. It’s a great website and discord channel for JRPG lovers, check it out if you’re into JRPGs.

This project includes video game magazines from the United States, United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia. Every English language gaming magazine I could find, except for Game Informer and GameFan, which do not want scans of their magazines online. A total of 63 magazines are included: @Gamer, Computer & Video Games, Dreamcast Magazine, Electric Brain, Electronic Entertainment, Electronic Games, Electronic Gaming Monthly, Extreme PlayStation, GameNow, Game On!, Game Players, Game Player’s, GamePro, Gamers’ Republic, Games Domain Offline, Games TM, Game Zone, GMR, Incite, Intelligent Gamer, Mean Machines Sega, Mega, Mega Play, Megatech, N64, N64 Magazine, N64 Pro, Next Generation, Next Generation, Nintendo Official Magazine, Nintendo Power, Nintendo Power Flash, Official Nintendo Magazine UK, Official PlayStation 2 Magazine UK, Official Sega Dreamcast Magazine, Official U.S. PlayStation Magazine, P.S.X., Planet Game Boy, PLAY, Play (UK), PlayStation Magazine, PlayStation Plus, PlayStation Pro, Pocket Games, PSExtreme, PSM2, PS Max, Q 64, Saturn Power, Sega Force, Sega Visions, Station, Super Gamer, Super Play, Surge, Total!, Total Gamer, Total PlayStation, Total Saturn, Ultimate Future Games, Ultra Game Players, VideoGames & Computer Entertainment/Video Games – the Ultimate Gaming Magazine, Xbox Nation.

Games are listed by their official title in North America at the time and in mostly alphabetical order without leading articles. Series with roman numerals or other inconsistencies have been put in an order that hopefully makes more sense. The order can look weird since titles can vary in length as well as where the spaces, numbers, and colons go. If a game was released on multiple systems with the same name I have indicated which the review is for. I’ve done my best to get exact names correct, but let me know if I’ve made a mistake.

The earliest game included is 1988’s Phantasy Star, the third JRPG to reach North America or Europe, while the latest is 2014’s Lightning Returns: Final Fantasy XIII. There are very few reviews from after 2010, though, as there were few magazines left, and even fewer scans available of them. The 1994-2000 era is probably the most complete period.

There are a few anomalies worth noting. Magazines occasionally reviewed games that never came to their region, or never left Japan at all. There are a few retrospective reviews, written years after a game came out. Nintendo Power’s early days threw out review scores inconsistently, sometimes giving scores to games without a written review, or giving scores in a walkthrough. They even reviewed Brandish twice.

You can click on the images to expand them to full size. Pressing the right arrow key or clicking on the right half of the image will go to the next image, while the left arrow key and left half of the image will go to the previous. Pressing escape will close the image lightbox. You may want to open some very large images in a new tab. Filenames start with the the name of the magazine if you ever want to check.

Update Log and Totals

May 6th, 2022 Update: Instead of just using the biggest magazines I have added every English language magazine I can, a total of 46 additional magazines with at least one scan have been added. A total of 824 new images including 132 new games have been added.

New games: Arc Rise Fantasia, Ar tonelico II: Melody of Metafalica, Astonishia Story, Blaze and Blade: Eternal Quest, Baroque, Battle Hunter, Blue Dragon: Awakened Shadow, The Bouncer, Castlevania: Double Pack, Chaos Wars, Class of Heroes, Code of Princess, Crimson Gem Saga, Cross Edge, Dark Souls, Demon’s Souls, Digimon World 2, Digimon World 4, Disgaea 2: Dark Hero Day, Disgaea DS, Dissidia Final Fantasy, Dokapon Kingdom, Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker, Dragon Quest Monsters: Joker 2, Dragon Warrior, Dragon’s Dogma, Drakengard 2, Drakkhen, Dual Hearts, Dungeon Explorer: Warriors of the Ancient Art, Dungeon Maker 2: The Hidden War, Dynasty Tactics, Dynasty Tactics 2, Dynasty Warriors: Gundam 2, Eternal Poison, Eternal Sonata (PS3), Etrian Odyssey III: The Drowned City, Final Fantasy XI: Treasures of Aht Urhgan (PS2), Final Fantasy Crystal Chronicles: The Crystal Bearers, Final Fantasy: The 4 Heroes of Light, Fist of the North Star: Ken’s Rage, Fossil Fighters: Champions, Front Mission (DS), Fullmetal Alchemist 2: Curse of the Crimson Elixir, Generation of Chaos, Glory of Heracles, Golden Sun: Dark Dawn, Guardian Heroes (Xbox 360), Half-Minute Hero, Harvest Moon DS Cute, Harvest Moon: Grand Bazaar, Harvest Moon: More Friends From Mineral Town, Harvest Moon: The Tale of Two Towns DS, Harvest Moon: The Tale of Two Towns 3D, Harvest Moon: Tree of Tranquility, Hexys Force, Hoshigami: Ruining Blue Earth Remix, Infinite Space, Kingdom Hearts 3D: Dream Drop Distance, Kingdom Hearts: Birth by Sleep, Langrisser III, The Last Story, Legaia 2: Duel Saga, Lost in Blue: Shipwrecked, Lufia: Curse of the Sinistrals, Mana Khemia: Alchemists of Al-Revis, Mana Khemia 2: Fall of Alchemy, Mario Tennis: Power Tour, Master of the Monster Lair, Medabots: Infinity, Mega Man Battle Network 5: Double Team DS, Mega Man Battle Network 5: Team Colonel/Team Protoman, Mega Man Battle Network 6: Cybeast Falzar/Cybeast Gregar, Mega Man Star Force: Dragon/Leo/Pegasus, Metal Saga, Monster Hunter Freedom Unite, Monster Hunter Tri, Monster Rancher Evo, Naruto: Path of the Ninja, Nier, One Piece: Unlimited Adventure, Operation Darkness, Paper Mario: Sticker Star, Phantasy Star Online Ver. 2, Phantasy Star Online: Episode I & II Plus, Pokémon Black Version 2/White Version 2, Pokémon Conquest, Pokémon HeartGold Version/SoulSilver Version, Pokémon Ranger: Guardian Signs, Pokémon Ranger: Shadows of Almia, Ragnarok DS, Record of Agarest War, Resonance of Fate (PS3), River King: Mystic Valley, Riviera: The Promised Land, Rondo of Swords, Rune Factory: A Fantasy Harvest Moon, Rune Factory 3: A Fantasy Harvest Moon, Rune Factory: Tides of Destiny (Wii), Sakura Wars: So Long, My Love, Sands of Destruction, Shaman King: Legacy of the Spirits, Soaring Hawk/Sprinting Wolf, Shaman King: Master of Spirits, Shaman King: Master of Spirits 2, Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner 2, Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2, Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor Overclocked, Shin Megami Tensei: Persona, Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey, Shiren the Wanderer, Solatorobo: Red the Hunter, Spectral Force 3, Spectral Souls: Resurrection of the Ethereal Empires, Spectrobes: Beyond the Portals, Star Ocean: Second Evolution, Star Ocean: The Last Hope International, Steambot Chronicles, Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World, Tales of the Abyss (3DS), Trinity: Souls of Zill Ơll, Uncharted Waters (SNES), Valhalla Knights 2, Way of the Samurai 3, White Knight Chronicles, Xenoblade Chronicles, Yakuza 2, Ys Seven, Ys: The Oath in Felghana, Yu-Gi-Oh! Reshef of Destruction, Yu-Gi-Oh! The Falsebound Kingdom, Yu-Gi-Oh! The Sacred Cards, Z.H.P. Unlosing Ranger VS Darkdeath Evilman, Zoids: Legacy

November 22nd, 2021 Update: 26 games have had new reviews added, and 12 new games have been added: Castlevania: Circle of the Moon, Car Battler Joe, Dragon Ball Z: Legendary Super Warrior, Dragon Warrior III, Exile, Faxanadu, Lufia: The Legend Returns, Metal Gear Ac!d, Mystic Heroes, Pokémon Crystal Version, Ring of Red, Star Ocean: First Departure

Total Magazines Included: 63

Total Images: 2,114

Total Games: 627

Total Games with a Colon in the Title: 252

A – 24 games

B – 27 games

C – 33 games

D Part 1 – 35 games

D Part 2 – 31 Games

E – 22 games

F Part 1 – 24 games

F Part 2 – 31 games

G – 19 games

H – 25 games

I – 6 games

J – 3 games

K – 17 games

L Part 1 – 21 games

L Part 2 – 21 games

M Part 1 – 30 games

M Part 2 – 27 games

N – 7 games

O – 10 games

P Part 1 – 20 games

  • Paladin’s Quest
  • Panzer Dragoon Saga
  • Paper Mario
  • Paper Mario: The Thousand-Year Door
  • Paper Mario: Sticker Star
  • Parasite Eve
  • Parasite Eve II
  • Persona 2: Eternal Punishment (PS1)
  • Phantasy Star
  • Phantasy Star II
  • Phantasy Star III: Generations of Doom
  • Phantasy Star IV: The End of the Millennium
  • Phantasy Star Collection
  • Phantasy Star Online (DC/PS2/Xbox)
  • Phantasy Star Online Ver. 2
  • Phantasy Star Online: Episode I & II (Xbox/GC)
  • Phantasy Star Online: Episode I & II Plus
  • Phantasy Star Online Episode III: C.A.R.D. Revolution
  • Phantasy Star Universe (Xbox 360/PS2)
  • Phantasy Star Ø

P Part 2 – 25 games

  • Phantom Brave
  • Phantom Brave: We Meet Again
  • Pocket Kingdom: Own the World
  • Pokémon Black Version 2/White Version 2
  • Pokémon Colosseum
  • Pokémon Conquest
  • Pokémon Crystal Version
  • Pokémon Diamond Version/Pearl Version
  • Pokémon Emerald Version
  • Pokémon Gold Version/Silver Version
  • Pokémon HeartGold Version/SoulSilver Version
  • Pokémon FireRed Version/LeafGreen Version
  • Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Blue Rescue Team
  • Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Explorers of Sky
  • Pokémon Mystery Dungeon: Red Rescue Team
  • Pokémon Platinum Version
  • Pokémon Ranger
  • Pokémon Ranger: Guardian Signs
  • Pokémon Ranger: Shadows of Almia
  • Pokémon Red Version/Blue Version
  • Pokémon Ruby Version/Sapphire Version
  • Pokémon Stadium
  • Pokémon Yellow Version: Special Pikachu Edition
  • Pokémon XD: Gale of Darkness
  • Popolocrois

Q – 1 game

  • Quest 64

R  – 24 games

  • Radiata Stories
  • Ragnarok DS
  • Record of Agarest War
  • Record of Lodoss War
  • Rengoku: The Tower of Purgatory
  • Rengoku II: The Stairway to H.E.A.V.E.N.
  • Resonance of Fate (PS3)
  • Revelations: Persona
  • Revelations: The Demon Slayer
  • Rhapsody: A Musical Adventure (PS1)
  • Ring of Red
  • River King: Mystic Valley
  • Riviera: The Promised Land
  • Robopon Sun Version/Star Version/Moon Version
  • Robopon 2: Cross Version/Ring Version
  • Robotrek
  • Rogue Galaxy
  • Romancing Saga
  • Rondo of Swords
  • Rune Factory: A Fantasy Harvest Moon
  • Rune Factory 2: A Fantasy Harvest Moon
  • Rune Factory 3: A Fantasy Harvest Moon
  • Rune Factory Frontier
  • Rune Factory: Tides of Destiny (Wii)

S Part 1 – 43 games

  • Saga Frontier
  • Saga Frontier 2
  • Saiyuki: Journey West
  • Sakura Wars: So Long, My Love
  • Sands of Destruction
  • Secret of Evermore
  • Secret of Mana
  • Secret of the Stars
  • Seventh Cross Evolution
  • The 7th Saga
  • Shadow Hearts
  • Shadow Hearts: Covenant
  • Shadow Hearts: From the New World
  • Shadow Tower
  • Shaman King: Legacy of the Spirits, Soaring Hawk/Sprinting Wolf
  • Shaman King: Master of Spirits
  • Shaman King: Master of Spirits 2
  • Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner
  • Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Summoner 2
  • Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor
  • Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor 2
  • Shin Megami Tensei: Devil Survivor Overclocked
  • Shin Megami Tensei: Digital Devil Saga
  • Shin Megami Tensei: Digital Devil Saga 2
  • Shin Megami Tensei: Nocturne
  • Shin Megami Tensei: Persona
  • Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3
  • Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 3 FES
  • Shin Megami Tensei: Persona 4
  • Shin Megami Tensei: Strange Journey
  • Shining Force
  • Shining Force CD
  • Shining Force Exa
  • Shining Force Neo
  • Shining Force: Resurrection of the Dark Dragon
  • Shining Force: The Sword of Hajya
  • Shining Force II
  • Shining Force III
  • Shining in the Darkness
  • Shining Soul
  • Shining Soul II
  • Shining Tears
  • Shining the Holy Ark
  • Shining Wisdom
  • Shiren the Wanderer

S Part 2 – 35 games

  • Skies of Arcadia
  • Skies of Arcadia Legends
  • Solatorobo: Red the Hunter
  • Sorcerer’s Kingdom
  • Soul Blazer
  • Spectral Souls
  • Spectral Souls: Resurrection of the Ethereal Empires
  • Spectrobes: Beyond the Portals
  • Spectrobes: Origins
  • SpellCaster
  • Star Ocean: First Departure
  • Star Ocean: Second Evolution
  • Star Ocean: The Last Hope International
  • Star Ocean: The Second Story
  • Star Ocean: Till the End of Time
  • Steambot Chronicles
  • Suikoden
  • Suikoden II
  • Suikoden III
  • Suikoden IV
  • Suikoden V
  • Suikoden Tactics
  • Suikoden: Tierkreis
  • Summon Night: Swordcraft Story 2
  • Super Hydlide
  • Super Mario RPG: Legend of the Seven Stars
  • Super Ninja Boy
  • Super Paper Mario
  • Super Robot Taisen OG Saga: Endless Frontier
  • Super Robot Taisen: Original Generation 2
  • The Sword of Hope
  • The Sword of Hope II
  • Sword of Mana
  • Sword of Vermilion

T – 27 games

  • Tactics Ogre (PS1)
  • Tactics Ogre: Let Us Cling Together
  • Tactics Ogre: The Knight of Lodis
  • Tail of the Sun
  • Tales of Destiny
  • Tales of Destiny 2
  • Tales of Legendia
  • Tales of Phantasia
  • Tales of Symphonia
  • Tales of Symphonia: Dawn of the New World
  • Tales of the Abyss (PS2)
  • Tales of the Abyss (3DS)
  • Tales of the World: Radiant Mythology
  • Tales of Vesperia (Xbox 360)
  • Tao’s Adventure: Curse of the Demon Seal
  • Tecmo’s Deception: Invitation to Darkness
  • Terranigma
  • Thousand Arms
  • Threads of Fate
  • Time Stalkers
  • Tobal No. 1
  • Torneko: The Last Hope
  • Trapt
  • Trinity: Souls of Zill Ơll
  • Tsugunai: Atonement
  • The Twisted Tales of Spike McFang

U – 4 games

  • Uncharted Waters (NES)
  • Uncharted Waters (SNES)
  • Uncharted Waters: New Horizons (SNES/Genesis)
  • Unlimited Saga

V – 15 games

  • Vagrant Story
  • Valhalla Knights
  • Valhalla Knights 2
  • Valhalla Knights: Eldar Saga
  • Valkyria Chronicles
  • Valkyrie Profile
  • Valkyrie Profile 2: Silmeria
  • Valkyrie Profile: Covenant of the Plume
  • Valkyrie Profile: Lenneth
  • Vandal Hearts
  • Vandal Hearts II
  • Vanguard Bandits
  • Vay
  • Virtual Hylide
  • Virtua Quest

W – 16 games

  • Wanderers From Ys (SNES/Genesis/TurboGrafx)
  • Warsong
  • Way of the Samurai 3
  • White Knight Chronicles
  • Wild Arms
  • Wild Arms 2
  • Wild Arms 3
  • Wild Arms 4
  • Wild Arms 5
  • Wild Arms Alter Code: F
  • Wild Arms XF
  • Willow
  • A Witch’s Tale
  • Wizardry: Tale of the Forsaken Land
  • The Wizard of Oz: Beyond the Yellow Brick Road
  • The World Ends with You

X – 5 games

  • Xenoblade Chronicles
  • Xenogears
  • Xenosaga Episode I: Der Wille zur Macht
  • Xenosaga Episode II: Jenseits Von Gut Und Bose
  • Xenosaga Episode III: Also Sprach Zarathustra

Y – 13 games

  • Yggdra Union
  • Yakuza
  • Yakuza 2
  • Ys Book I & II
  • Ys III: Wanderers from Ys (TurboGrafx/Genesis)
  • Ys: The Ark of Napishtim
  • Ys: The Oath in Felghana
  • Ys Seven
  • Ys: The Vanished Omens
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! Reshef of Destruction
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! The Duelists of the Roses
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! The Falsebound Kingdom
  • Yu-Gi-Oh! The Sacred Cards

Z – 4 games

  • Zelda II: The Adventure of Link
  • Z.H.P. Unlosing Ranger VS Darkdeath Evilman
  • Zoids: Legacy
  • Zone of the Enders: The Fist of Mars

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